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RHAPSODY (OF FIRE)

Progressive Metal • Italy


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Rhapsody (of Fire) biography
RHAPSODY released their first album "Legendary Tales" in 1997. The Italian power metal band incorporate classical and baroque sounds into their music, a combination which proves to be very powerful. Each album fits into one ever-expanding storyline, "The Chronicles of Algalord", comparable to the great literary works of the fantasy genre if we deem musical imagery as viable for such purpose as the constructs of effective writing. Certainly the band create the same scale of setting, indeed the same epic atmosphere in their fantasy work as may be found in such literary tales as the masterworks of Tolkien.

It is very hard to draw legitimate comparisons between RHAPSODY and other bands. Some cite similarities with THERION, who also record with full orchestra and choir. THERION however combine metal (in some cases, death metal) with the Wagner school of classical music, creating large-scale Nordic soundscapes. RHAPSODY bring together power metal with medieval, baroque and classical period music; Vivaldi, Bach, Paganini, Verdi are all major influences and the result is a distinctly Italian flavour. Ultimately, RHAPSODY are unique.

The members of RHAPSODY are Alex Staropoli (harpsichord, keyboard, piano), Luca Turilli (guitars), Fabio Leone (vocals), Alex Holzwarth (Drums) and Patrice Guers (bass). All may be considered virtuosos on their respective instruments. In addition to this 5-piece core, a great many other musicians, vocalists and even actors have collaborated over the course of what are now seven albums.

Following the release of "Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret", RHAPSODY were forced for legal reasons to change their name, opting instead for the title RHAPSODY OF FIRE. On the subject of that album, it is the manifestation of all the experience the band have gained producing five albums previous to it and is without doubt a masterpiece. Christopher Lee narrates much of the storyline in a diverse album that will appeal to a greater portion than merely the fan of the power metal genre. I go as far as to recommend it and the band to all who enjoy first class musicianship and skillful composition.

: : : "Ktrout" : : :

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RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) discography


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RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 125 ratings
Legendary Tales
1997
3.73 | 130 ratings
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands
1998
3.76 | 102 ratings
Dawn Of Victory
2000
3.54 | 78 ratings
Rain Of A Thousand Flames
2001
3.44 | 86 ratings
Power of the Dragonflame
2002
3.72 | 105 ratings
Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret
2004
3.59 | 77 ratings
Triumph Or Agony
2006
3.78 | 100 ratings
Frozen Tears Of Angels
2010
3.55 | 94 ratings
From Chaos To Eternity
2011
3.66 | 39 ratings
Ascending to Infinity (Luca Turilli's Rhapsody)
2012
3.76 | 21 ratings
Dark Wings Of Steel
2013
3.77 | 30 ratings
Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus
2015
3.52 | 23 ratings
Into The Legend
2016
3.70 | 11 ratings
Legendary Years
2017

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.33 | 21 ratings
Live In Canada 2005 - The Dark Secret
2006
3.90 | 10 ratings
Live: From Chaos To Eternity
2013

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.88 | 15 ratings
Visions From The Enchanted Lands
2007

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 10 ratings
Tales From The Emerald Sword Saga
2004

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Land Of Immortals
1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
Eternal Glory
1995
3.67 | 12 ratings
Emerald Sword
1998
3.95 | 12 ratings
Holy Thunderforce
2000
3.31 | 13 ratings
The Dark Secret
2004
3.19 | 7 ratings
The Magic Of The Wizard's Dream
2005
2.75 | 30 ratings
The Cold Embrace Of Fear
2010

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Legendary Tales by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.73 | 125 ratings

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Legendary Tales
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Known as the pioneers of fusing power and symphonic metal into epic fantastical journeys, Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli created their progressive neoclassical driven band all the way back in 1993 in Trieste, Italy under the moniker Thundercross before finally changing it to the more familiar RHAPSODY, only then to be altered once again to RHAPSODY OF FIRE in 2006 due to trademark issues. Really? It took someone ten years to figure out they didn't deserve the name? Geez.

Riding in the wake of power metal bands like Helloween, Running Wild and Blind Guardian, RHAPSODY was all about fantastical voyages into the world of mythical creatures, wily wizards and the eternal battle of good and evil and their debut album LEGENDARY TALES the band began the lengthy and never-ending epic journey into their high fantasy musical world of "The Emerald Sword Saga" which spanned over five albums ending with "Power Of The Dragonflame."

Fantasy and mythology are nothing new in metal of course and traverses throughout the entire metal universe with bands like Summoning devoting their entire subject matter to Tolkien inspired themes. RHAPSODY took a similar approach only changing things around a bit to create their own mystical folklore that finds the similar Middle Earth approach between the battle of good and evil in a glorious bravado.

The album takes the frenetic energy infused riffing of power metal and applies rich symphonic and emotionally dense segments that include flutes, recorders, harpsichord, violins, cello, mandolin and a rich eight piece choir (tagged as the Choir Of Immortals) along with the expected metal instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and classic operatic over-the-top vocals. The sheer scope of the journey is performed with technical wizardry and easily takes the listener to the epic lands far away from the reality we experience in the here and now.

Yeah, power metal can be a bit cheesy at times but when it's done right, it is grand and intense. The problem usually arises in that the band in question doesn't quite have the chops to pull off their visions. RHAPSODY is chock full of virtuosic talent focused on Luca Turilli's speed-drenched guitar wizardry, Alex Staropoli's keyboard gymnastics and excellently constructed compositions that focus on all aspects of the music without any particular style or genre stealing the show. These guys have mastered the art of musical foreplay and climax like few others in the metal world yet deliver all the metal goods in ample doses.

While the metal riffs are primarily based on 80s Manowar taken to more ambitious extremes, the neoclassical solos reminisce of Yngwie Malmsteen's classically charged shred wankery. The keyboards on the other hand exist in a neo-Baroque universe that compliment the guitar segments but often find moments of expressing unadulterated J.S.Bach glory. Mountains of melody emerge through carefully constructed flute and recorders while choirs caress the soundscape with harmonic bliss.

RHAPSODY's debut LEGENDARY TALES truly took metal's most virtuosic and ambitious aspects to new heights with outstanding musical performances within perfectly drawn out journeys that fleshed out emotional depth with a stellar performance by vocalist Fabio Lione whose vocal range shatters glass when on fire and yet carries a perfectly calm demeanor when poetic prose is in order. It's no wonder RHAPSODY has been so successful starting from this not so humble beginning. All the elements have already gelled with the band's vision having been crystal clear by mapping out a complete five part saga for their debut.

The excellent performances are even more stellar with the superb production job from Gate-Studios in Wolfsburg, German with Sascha Paeth of Heaven's Gate and Angra fame at the helm. This is a stunningly rich collection of ten outstanding tracks that contain no samples or synthesizers. All instruments heard are the real deal. While i am blown away by LEGENDARY TALES it falters only in the more tightly composed epics that follow but consistency has been one of RHAPSODY (OF FIRE)'s strengths and this debut is certainly no exception.

 Legendary Years by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.70 | 11 ratings

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Legendary Years
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Rhapsody have had an interesting career path, to say the least. What started as one band has been split in two for quite a while, with guitarist Luca Turilli behind Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, and keyboard player Alex Staropoli leading Rhapsody of Fire. Here, Alex has taken his band of merry men on a romp through songs from the first five Rhapsody albums, and in case anyone doesn't realise what is going on this selection is named after the debut, 'Legendary Tales'. What I have always liked about any of the Rhapsody bands, is that they not only have grandiose and almost Wagnerian Ring Cycle ideas, but they like to have the guitars tightly bound together with drums driving it all along. This may be Alex's band, but he acts more as a conductor and arranger, pulling the musicians in the way that makes total sense to his ears.

I haven't actually heard these early songs, so can't comment as to whether they are performed in a better or worse manner than the originals, so I am treating this instead as a brand new album by RoF, and in that context this works incredibly well indeed. They shred, they bring in a chorus, they stop the music dead, or let it sprawl through the speakers like an unstoppable lava flow, laying waste to all the lies before it. Fabio Lione is an amazing singer, and until this album has been the voice of first Rhapsody, and then Rhapsody of Fire, but here Giacomo Voli has taken on the role and it has to be said that he has done a very done job indeed. Overall this is a great album, and stands well in its own right, as well as an introduction to a band who have been at the forefront of symphonic metal for more than twenty years.

 Legendary Tales by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.73 | 125 ratings

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Legendary Tales
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Troubadours with leather pants

When it comes to power metal it's like toilet paper: there are fancier ones but they basically do all the same thing.

What makes this album stands out (a bit) is certainly the neo-metallum sauce that sidedishes the concept or swords and dragons. That's what attracted me first, a blend of medieval mood and feisty guitars. And, once again, I think the 80's did it a bit better (and earlier) so I'd check with Odyssey by Malmsteen before, for example. But if you are new to the genre, prepare for a grandiose journey in some faraway land yada yada yada.

Everything is played right on the nuggets: precise guitars and flabbergasting technique of keyboards too. As I said earlier, it's bas basically the same recipe over and over and over again but hey, it sells.

If it's your first experience, it's one heck of a ride and done with astounding technique. If it's not, still enjoyable moderately.

 Rain Of A Thousand Flames by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.54 | 78 ratings

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Rain Of A Thousand Flames
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by SevDawg

3 stars RHAPSODY OF FIRE "Rain Of A Thousand Flames" is the only album I have from this band. I'm not a huge fan of RHAPSODY OF FIRE because I find it to be cheesy power metal (castles and dragons, mythology, things in that vein), but some of the tracks on this album are musically impressive.

"The Wizard's Last Rhymes" is a song that blew me away. One of my favorite classical pieces is Antonín Dvořák's symphony 9. "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" uses the 4th movement of that symphony and makes for some epic symphonic power metal.

Objectively this album has ambition. I'm not a big fan of RHAPSODY OF FIRE but I do love symphonic / power metal, and I'd recommend it to anyone who appreciates those genres.

 Ascending to Infinity (Luca Turilli's Rhapsody) by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 39 ratings

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Ascending to Infinity (Luca Turilli's Rhapsody)
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well, this is an interesting experiment. In a stark contrast to the tedious wrangling over the Queensryche name, Luca Turilli and his former bandmates in Rhapsody have decided to coexist: the original band will continue under the Rhapsody of Fire name, whilst Luca will produce new music in the Rhapsody style as band leader of Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, and both bands will be considered to be official parts of the Rhapsody family.

It's an interesting experiment, but I can't help but think that - on the Luca side of the equation at least - something is lost as a result of the divorce. Turilli continues to push the whole Hollywood metal style he developed with his former bandmates on the legendary Rhapsody concept albums, but without a cohesive concept to hang the album structure on it feels a little unfocused, and whilst the sound presented is diverse it doesn't always cater to Turilli's talents. (It often feels rather light on Turilli's guitar work, which to me is the main draw for his material). It's competent enough stuff, but somehow it's missing the magic.

 From Chaos To Eternity by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 94 ratings

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From Chaos To Eternity
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rhapsody's second multiple-concept album epic comes to a close which feels more exhausted than triumphant here. Don't get me wrong, this is a more or less solid Rhapsody album that keeps me reasonably entertained across its running time, but I can't help but be left with the impression that Rhapsody were getting diminishing returns out of their formula at this point, and the subsequent split into two factions was probably a necessary one to give them a jolt. To be honest, the only really major departures the Dark Secret Saga albums make compared with the Emerald Sword Saga are as follows:

- Christopher Lee narrates the Dark Sword Saga - score one for the Dark Sword Saga. - The Emerald Sword Saga doesn't quite have a symphonic-and-narrative-focused release as The Cold Embrace of Fear, though since that was kind of a dull misstep that's a solid point in the Emerald Sword Saga's favour.

And, erm, that's about it. Apparently the band have decided that this will be the last of their conceptual epics, and perhaps some time backing away from the expectations the Emerald Sword Saga built up will be good for recharging their creative batteries. I'm also interested to see what Rhapsody of Fire and Luca Turilli do now they've had their amicable parting of the ways. But as far as this album goes, it's solid stuff, but I know this Rhapsody lineup are capable of better and they don't quite deliver the triumphant conclusion I was hoping for.

 The Cold Embrace Of Fear by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
2.75 | 30 ratings

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The Cold Embrace Of Fear
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Huh - this is an odd one. Recorded during the sessions for The Frozen Tears of Angels, this multi-part epic tells an important part of the story of the Dark Secret Saga - it's not a side-tale in the same way that Rain of a Thousand Flames was to the Emerald Sword Saga. On balance, I think the band made the right call in leaving this off that album, since it is a major departure from Rhapsody's usual compositional style which wouldn't fit well on that album, or indeed on any of Rhapsody's other releases.

The multi-act song here relies far more on sweeping orchestral sections and extended narrated portions than any other Rhapsody album, to the point where it includes full-blown radio play sections. On top of that, there's more or less none of the band's usual energetic power metal excursions to moderate the pace and aid the flow, to the point where it feels like an experiment in creating more purely symphonic metal than Rhapsody are known for - or just a symphonic soundtrack when the band don't play altogether and let the actors get on with it. It's an interesting attempt, but in all honesty I think they do a lot better when they sound like Rhapsody.

 From Chaos To Eternity by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.55 | 94 ratings

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From Chaos To Eternity
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

3 stars What did I just listen to? Rhapsody of Fire has always been an anomaly for me. They are the epitome of "geeky" prog metal (as some have called it), and almost seem like a soundtrack to Dungeons and Dragons. I thought I would give them a try, though; because I am certainly a big fan of fantasy.

The thing is: I've heard this all before now. This music sounds just like Symphony X, but with a little more emphasis on keyboards. The pace is extremely fast, and the technical bar is set very high---this isn't easy music to perform. Also, only about half the album is in English. The rest is in Latin (?), I believe.

However, I did find myself enjoying it. In fact, I enjoyed it more than some Symphony X albums, such as "The Odyssey". While much of the album seems like speedy power metal, there is a certain fantasy charm to the whole deal: a great deal of sobriety to the performances. These guys tell us fantastical stories without missing a beat. I think that's pretty dang impressive, as sometimes the story seems a little ridiculous.

The album is certainly good. The production is outstanding, and the music is well done. This isn't totally my cup of tea, but I could definitely see myself revisiting this band every once in a while.

 Frozen Tears Of Angels by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.78 | 100 ratings

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Frozen Tears Of Angels
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Frozen Tears of Angels is an exciting return to form for Rhapsody after the slightly bland Triumph or Agony. The folky influences they had so far been neglecting in the Dark Secret albums make a welcome return, and they even dabble in some extreme metal sounds, with some honest to goodness shrieked vocals making an appearance. Luca's guitar work is the star of the show once again and the band as a whole invest substantially more passion into their music than was evident on Triumph or Agony. Clearly, the sobbing angels are in their heaven and all's right with Rhapsody again.
 Triumph Or Agony by RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.59 | 77 ratings

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Triumph Or Agony
Rhapsody (of Fire) Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rhapsody's first album after an unfortunate trademark dispute prompted them to add "of Fire" to their name (but they'll always simply be Rhapsody to me) feels like a bit of a stumble to me. Perhaps they were thrown a little off their game by the unwanted legal pressures, but it seems to rely a bit more on flabby orchestral filler than Rhapsody ever have before, and the band's metal passages don't soar the way they do in previous albums. They're still just about tight enough to keep my attention, and hopefully now that the sinister Seventh Book has been discovered in the story the action will pick up, but as far as Triumph or Agony is concerned my answer is "neither" - it might not be agony to listen to, but it's certainly not a musical triumph in its own right.
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